Nigerian senator marries girl of 13

Bride's parents received dowry of $100,000 before wedding took place in Abuja.

    Senator Yerima has defended his decision to marry the 13-year-old, saying it is Islamic [Al Jazeera]

    "If there's anybody who'll tell me that what you did contradicts Islam, I 'll submit - and I'll do whatever they ask me to do."
     
    Nigerian human rights organisations say Yerima has broken the law and have called for his immediate arrest.

    ""If you have a law that says you cannot marry a 13-year-old. If you have a law that says you cannot marry a-15-year old, then why on God’s green earth, will a guy who is a senator, who makes laws, violate or break that same law. It’s because he thinks the law is not applicable to him," said one rights group official.

    Yerima's problems have been compounded by the fact that the wedding took place in the capital Abuja, where it is illegal to marry under the age of 18.

    But in Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim north, weddings of underage people do not often cause controversy as many northern states have refused to recognise the law making marriage for people under 18 illegal.

    They say that ban is against the teachings of Islam.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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